Should businesses – and young people – be doing more to become green?

Older people still leading the way on recycling in the workplace

There’s still a clear generational gap when it comes to attitudes towards recycling in the workplace, new research has found.
A survey carried out by nationwide commercial waste recycling services provider Direct365 discovered that 72% of people do recycle items at work overall.
However, the results confirmed that 18 to 24-year-olds are the least likely to follow green waste schemes (68%), whereas those in the 55 to 64 category are the most likely (84%). Generally, the data indicated that the older people are, the more inclined they are to recycle.
The fact that the youngest generation are around 16% less likely to segment their waste than their more senior peers is concerning.
Phil Turner, head of digital at Direct365, said: “While it is worrying to see such a high percentage of youngsters not taking their employers’ recycling policies seriously, we shouldn’t place the blame squarely at their feet.
“Things have improved dramatically in the past decade, but there are still many organisations across the UK that fail to make it easy for their staff to dispose of waste in an eco-friendly way.
“You could argue that greater awareness needs to be raised across the board, rather than solely targeting those under the age of 24.”
Data provided by Ferrari Packaging has shown that 83% of consumers believe that it is vital for businesses to construct programs that are environmentally friendly. Now it’s a case of putting the theory into practice.
One area of waste disposal that is a particular cause for concern is coffee cups. In August 2016, the Liberal Democrats called for action to be taken, stating that 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away in the UK each year, with only one in 400 of these being recycled.
Turner believes there is a great deal of pressure on businesses to become more proactive.
He said: “Many of the people who took part in our survey will recycle at home – in fact it’s become second nature for them. It’s imperative, therefore, that their employers make it as easy as possible for them to follow the same green practices when they’re at work.”

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Hannah Hamilton, who is a former Fife College student, is a reporter and assistant content editor for Scotland B2B, specialising in B2B news and features. She can be contacted via